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Plants That Live Near Rivers

Updated February 21, 2017

Rivers are generally freshwater bodies of moving water, and these waterways usually flow towards another body of water, including other rivers, lakes, oceans or seas. Rivers collect water from runoff, rain, springs and groundwater. These waters have their own ecosystems, including plants that grow either in the water or near to it. Plants located near waterways are adapted to the moist soils and will not drown from overwatering.

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The marsh hibiscus grows within the marshes bordering both saltwater and freshwater bodies, including rivers. These plants create a five pointed bloom, ranging from pink to white, and the centre of the flower is burgundy. This hibiscus blooms from late spring to early fall, and it is a perennial. It can grow up to seven feet tall, and the flower is usually between six and eight inches wide. The leaves of this hibiscus are arrow shaped with a velvet feeling base, and their colour ranges from green to grey. The marsh hibiscus is hardy from United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Zones 5 through 9.

Wild Rice

Wild rice is a type of grass that grows around rivers and lakes, and it is found throughout the United States. This plant is edible, and it is generally found I the shallow waters around waterways. The stalks of the plant are long, thin and light green. The bloom is located at the end of the stalk, and the colour is usually white to pinkish. The blooms also have a feathery look to them, and the actual rice is brown to blackish in colour.


The redbud is a small tree found alongside different waterways, and it requires moist, well-drained soil to thrive. This tree creates small flowers, ranging in colour from purple to white to pink, and it blooms during the spring. During the summer, the redbud creates very dark, green leaves. This tree can grow up to 30 feet tall and 25 feet wide, and it thrives in USDA Zones 4 through 9. The redbud grows very slowly.


Rushes have tall, thin green stalks that stick out of the shallow marshes where they usually live. The blooms are located at the end of the stalk, and these flowers range in colour from brown to green to red. It creates a fruit capsule, which you can gather and use for reseeding. The rush leaves are very small, usually round and flat. Rushes get between two and three feet tall, and they thrive in USDA Zones 3 through 7.

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About the Author

Misty Faucheux

Misty Faucheux became a freelance writer in 1998 and has been an editor since 2004. She has written for a variety of websites and blogs, specializing in topics ranging from digital photography to computer systems to digital media. Faucheux received a Bachelor of Arts in communications from Loyola University New Orleans.

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